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2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500

Overview
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2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Review

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The most stylish Suburban to date soldiers on for 2009 with a host of technological, safety and comfort upgrades. The Suburban hauls more passengers and cargo than anything in its segment, a fact not overlooked by those who need such convenience or capability. Cousin to the GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet's own Avalanche SUV/pickup, the Suburban is also related to the shorter full-size Tahoe sport-utility. The 2009 Chevrolet Suburban can be had with two- or four-wheel drive, and in regular 1500 or heavy-duty 2500 models. Depending upon the model, a variety of V8 engines are available, from a 5.3-liter Flex-Fuel V8 on 1500 models to a 352-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 on the 2500 versions.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're a fan of big passenger-carrying wagons, and can cope with the operating costs, SUVs don't get much bigger than a Suburban. Boat and trailer owners in particular gravitate toward Suburbans, which offer up to 8,100-pounds towing capacity (or 9,600 pounds for the two-wheel-drive 2500 series).

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unless you really need this much passenger- and cargo-hauling capability, a smaller vehicle, such as the GMC Acadia, might be a better choice – especially if gasoline prices continue to fluctuate.

What's New for 2009

The big news for 2009 is the addition of a new six-speed automatic transmission and the availability of OnStar's Destination Download on models equipped with navigation. Also new is the addition of Bluetooth hands-free communication, Side Blind Zone Alert system (LTZ only), a rearview mirror-mounted screen for the optional backup camera and an enhanced LTZ trim.

Driving the Suburban 1500

Driving Impressions Refinement, though markedly improved, shines less brightly in Suburbans than in shorter-length GM trucks. With four-wheel drive and the 6.0-liter V8, the new automatic transmission is a vast improvement over...

the previous unit, which sometimes seemed to shift a little abruptly. Despite an abundance of sound deadening materials, there is noticeable engine noise under harder acceleration. However, ride comfort is considerably more appealing; it's pleasantly absorbent and cushiony on smooth surfaces and copes reasonably well with bumps. Acceleration is vigorous from a standstill, if less so to pass or merge. The Suburban feels more truck-like than smaller SUVs and, on the expressway, it behaves admirably.

Active Fuel Management Technology
Chevrolet is one of several automakers offering V8 engines that can automatically switch to four-cylinder operation as a fuel-saving measure, and it's a welcome feature. Considering the propensity of big SUVs to guzzle gasoline, every little bit of technology that reduces consumption is a bonus.

Power-operated Running Boards
Sure, they might tap you in the shin if you're standing too close, but the Suburban's optional power running boards are wide enough to really help passengers who might have trouble climbing aboard.

2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 Details
2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 photo Interior

There is more passenger space and improved seating comfort compared to previous generation Suburbans, along with greater overall refinement – including enclosing the "close-outs" around seat bottoms for a cleaner appearance. Rear-seat passengers get increased shoulder room, and the driver benefits from a lower instrument panel that helps increase front-seat space. Two-tone color schemes use softer, low-gloss materials for the instrument panel. The third-row seat is removable, and a power-release fold-and-tumble second-row seat is available.

Exterior

At 222.4 inches overall on a 130-inch wheelbase, the Suburban is undeniably a biggie. With body-on-frame construction, it's clearly a truck – though fancier in appearance than many cargo haulers. Improved aerodynamics are credited to a more sleekly-angled windshield and tighter body-gap tolerances, while a bulging power-dome hood adds to visceral appeal. Prominent fenders have integrated wheel flares, and the lower fascia displays a skid-plate look to enhance the rugged aura. Standard 17-inch wheels can be replaced by 20-inchers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Three trim levels are available: LS, LT and LTZ, with three sub-divisions of the LT level (1LT, 2LT and 3LT), and with either two- or four-wheel drive. Standard LS equipment includes daytime running lights, head-curtain side airbags, GM's OnStar emergency and communications system, side steps, split-bench front seat, cloth upholstery, heated power mirrors and remote keyless entry. The 2LT adds automatic air conditioning, leather seats and a six-disc CD/MP3 changer. Additional equipment on the LTZ includes Autoride suspension, heated and cooled front-row and heated second-row seats, power-release folding second-row seats, a power liftgate, limited-slip differential, Bose Surround Sound speakers and 20-inch wheels.

Optional Equipment

The Z71 Off-Road option includes larger recovery-hook openings, more prominent foglamps, platinum chrome grille trim and on-road/off-road tires on 18-inch wheels. Power articulated running boards automatically move downward and outward as the doors open. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist is available, or the optional rearview camera displays the view behind the vehicle. The optional DVD-based rear-seat entertainment system features an eight-inch screen and in-dash loading. Also optional is the 6.0-liter V8 engine and a touch-screen navigation system, and, for vehicles not equipped with a navigation screen, a rearview camera display included in the rearview mirror. Side Blind Alert is available, but only on the LTZ trim.

Under the Hood

With two-wheel drive, the Suburban 1500 has a standard iron-block 5.3-liter V8 engine that produces 310 horsepower. Four-wheel-drive models get a standard all-aluminum V8 also rated at 310 horsepower. A 366-horsepower, 6.0-liter all-aluminum V8 is optional. Suburban 2500 models contain an iron-block 6.0-liter V8 that generates 352 horsepower. All engines except those in the 2500 models operate with Active Fuel Management technology, and two of the 5.3-liter V8s are E85-compatible.

5.3-liter V8
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD)

5.3-liter V8 Flex-Fuel
310 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
335 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD, gasoline), 10/15 (2WD, E85), N/A (4WD, gasoline), N/A (4WD, E85)

6.0-liter V8
366 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
376 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

6.0-liter V8
352 horsepower @ 5400 rpm
382 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Chevrolet Suburban Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 268 Ratings for the 2007 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Has been the most reliable vehicle I have owned.

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 176,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great work horse"

Cons: "No cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been the best vehicle I have ever owned and I have owned a number. It has just run and run and run. I have had absolutely minimal repairs in the 176,000 miles that I have driven this vehicle. It has exceeded my expectations. General Motors vehicles have dramatically improved."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my suburban!

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfortable seating, reliable, secure"

Cons: "Gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"My 2008 Suburban is the best vehicle I have ever owned!! I would purchase another when the one I currently have stops working for me. I average 30K a year in miles and everyone is comfortable in it when we take road trips or even into town for shopping."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Good for my family of 5

By on Sunday, June 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Door handles could have been more durable."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I loved the vehicle. We need more power to pull our boat, camper,and other toys. My 3 boys traveled quite well in this vehicle. We've had the boat 2 years and it's too heavy for the 1500 engine."

11 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Like the car don't like it's oil use

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Like the car for a ride and room"

Cons: "Caring a case of oil in the back"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought this car used and almost ran it out of oil because I never imagined it would use oil as it does. Then I find out that other people have the same problem I have never had this problem with any other Chevy engine I have owned before and I have owned several dating back to a 1957 convertible . So beware if your looking at these."

4 people out of 12 found this review helpful

This was my sales office and loved it.

By on Sunday, May 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "this is a great price for this car. I loved it"

Cons: "miles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle has 3rd row seating as well as 4 captains chairs. The tires, ball joints, brakes, battery were have less then 500 miles on them as does a tune up and a change of all fluids. The interior and exterior are in near showroom condition"

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

3/4 Ton SUV...once you get over the gas mileage...

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Go anywhere, haul anything"

Cons: "Drinks Gas and can be hard to park"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my 3rd large GM SUV. I started with a 2003 GMC Yukon, then a 2008 Chevy Suburban Z71, and now a 2010 Chevy Suburban 2500. I'll admit I love these things and I may be biased! This vehicle isn't for everyone. Some people don't like big cars and this is big. Some people don't like gas guzzlers and this thing has a major drinking problem. The prior two half tons got much better mileage but the raw power of the 6.0 liter when hauling lots of people and gear and/or a trailer over mountain passes can't be beat. I got the 3/4 ton because they don't make them anymore and I have a large family, large dog, and we travel and tow a travel trailer a lot. This beast does the job and is comfortable, luxurious, and a pleasure to drive. And in a winter environment in Montana, just put some 10 ply Blizzaks on her in the winter with around 6000 lbs of weight (GVW) for traction and you can go just about anywhere. GAS MILEAGE: We can get over 15 mpg on a long trip with no roof accessories or trailer and worst case scenario with roof box and trailer on the windy plains is 8 mpg (but what do you expect when you are towing a sail?). HAULING PEOPLE: Ours holds 7 with the middle captains chairs. No problem with adults and kids and plenty of luggage. And add a 90 lb German Shepherd... HAULING GEAR: We have a Yakima Skybox 18 for extra gear on trips and skis in winter. Box is steady on the roof and solid. Have also put bikes on the roof and hitch mount. Never any issues with hauling those. One advantage of the Suburban's length over the Tahoe/Yukons is that there is a massive amount of room behind the 3rd row seat for luggage/groceries, etc. TOWING: Most trailers are no problem. Brake controls are integrated stock. And with most trailers, especially short distances, there is no need for weight distribution. We got the 3/4 ton because the 1/2 ton was always overloaded and with the trailer it looked like the rear was going to hit the ground. I always opt for safety in a vehicle and I've yet to be able to overload this one with our current gear and trailer. Our trailer is a 18-20 ft class travel trailer and there is no need for a weight distribution hitch on it. Overall, we love our Suburban. They've been a family staple for 12 years and I don't see that changing."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?